Match 57 Preview: Facing Odisha for second time in 3 days, Chennaiyin hope to end winless streak

After playing out a goalless draw this past Sunday, Chennaiyin FC and Odisha FC meet again in Match 57 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. Odisha are unbeaten in three matches against the Marina Machans, with one win and two draws, and Stuart Baxter will hope that his team can continue this run against a side who are winless in their last four matches this season.

After an underwhelming start to their season, Odisha have shown signs of improvement, with a solid defensive performance to keep their first clean sheet of the season against Chennaiyin in their last game. And in the match before they had beaten Kerala Blasters FC for their first win of the season. The new-look defensive pairing of Gaurav Bora and Steven Taylor made a combined nine clearances against Chennaiyin. Goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh too prevented Rahim Ali and Jakub Sylvestr from getting on the scoresheet.

In the attacking third, the Bhubaneswar-based club have been heavily reliant on Diego Mauricio, who has scored five of their 10 goals (two own goals) this season. This will worry Baxter as the likes of Marcelo Pereira and Manuel Onwu are yet to score this season. Taylor and Cole Alexander are the other goal-scorers. With only three of his players finding the back of net so far, Baxter will want more to come to the fore, particularly Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who has four assists this season but is yet to score.

Sharing his thoughts ahead of the game, Odisha head coach Baxter said: "If I look at the 1-0 loss to ATK Mohun Bagan, I think we could have easily won that game. So I don't see, just because we got a win, that our performance has taken a huge step forward. We were very close to beating Bengaluru FC and the same with NorthEast United. I think we have shown in every game that we are competitive."

Chennaiyin, meanwhile, will hope to find their scoring boots after scoring just eight goals in 10 games this season. A positive for them going into this game is that the Marina Machans have been quick off their feet at the start of games. They have scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of their matches so far, and this is key because Odisha have conceded three of their 16 goals during the same period.

In their last game, Chennaiyin managed 11 shots against Odisha as compared to Odisha’s three, but only two of them were on target, highlighting the main issue for Csaba Laszlo’s side. The Marina Machans have 43 shots on target so far but have only 8 goals to show for their effort.

Addressing the issue, Chennaiyin head coach Laszlo said: “I don't want to say that we created the most chances in the league but somehow we didn't score enough goals. If you don't score goals, it's very difficult to win games. You cannot always only defend and expect to be without mistakes at the back.”

Following Rafael Crivellaro being ruled out for the rest of the season, the Marina Machans have roped in Manuel Lanzarote, who has played two seasons in the past with FC Goa and ATK FC respectively. With 18 goals and eight assists in 33 matches in the Hero ISL, he can be a real handful. However, Chennaiyin will have to wait a little before he can join the squad on account of the Covid-19 protocols.   

Squads:

Odisha FC

Goalkeepers: Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Ravi Kumar, Ankit Bhuyan

Defenders: Steven Taylor, Saurabh Meher, Gaurav Bora, Kamalpreet Singh, Mohd Sajid Dhot, George D’Souza, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob, Hendry Antonay

Midfielders: Baoringdao Bodo, Cole Alexander, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, S Lalhrezuala, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh

Forwards: Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Laishram Singh, Marcelo Pereira

Chennaiyin FC

Goalkeepers: Revanth BY, Vishal Kaith, Karanjit Singh, Samik Mitra

Defenders: Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Remi, Balaji Ganesan, Aqib Nawab, Deepak Tangri

Midfielders: Fatkhulo Fatkhuloev, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Abhijit Sarkar, Pandiyan Sinivasan, Germanpreet Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Edwin Vanspaul, Manuel Lanzarote

Forwards: Jakub Sylvestr, Aman Chetri, Rahim Ali, Esmael Goncalves

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 57: Odisha FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Date: January 13 (Wednesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

Your Comments